HEARTPOUNDERS: Halloween Tales of Horror…Odds Bodkin returns to Zoom on Oct. 29th.

HEARTPOUNDERS: Halloween Tales of Horror…Odds Bodkin returns to Zoom on Oct. 29th!

A 90-minute live storytelling event!

Friday, Oct. 29th at 7 pm EST

When the wind roars, the whip cracks and the horse gallops into the storm, you know you’re hearing Master Storyteller Odds Bodkin tell The Storm Breeder, the legend of an undead man doomed to flee thunderstorms across New England. The 12-string guitar score rivets you to the storyteller’s hands, while his face, close up on Zoom, transforms from character to character.

He’s called “a consummate storyteller” by The New York Times and this HEARTPOUNDERS performance is one of the reasons why. Experience vocal effects so realistic, the sounds evoke cinema in viewers’ minds, even as a host of characters come to life. And it all breathes with music, building tension and emotion as each tale powers toward its shocking end.

Drawn from supernatural traditions around the world, these tales come complete with introductory lore. A full 90-minute evening of imagination entertainment. Heartpounders with Odds Bodkin.

Grab some friends, get your ticket and save the date!

Tickets: $25 per screen

(buys your login and password)

Includes a post-show Q&A!

A Mad Scramble

It was a mad scramble. In an email, two weeks out from Sept. 9, Professor Walsh, Chair of Classics at Loyola, wrote that campus conditions were “vexing.” He warned we might have to go with Zoom again due to sudden Delta variant rules. I already had my Southwest Airlines ticket. As always, I’d stay with my sister Lindsay outside Baltimore, drive to town the night of the show, perform the tale, and then go out to dinner with the profs.

For fifteen years I’d done this in September. I’d pack my 12-string and tell either The Odyssey or the Iliad: Book I for two hundred Classics and Honors students in a big performance space. 70-minute storytellings. Either psychodrama or high adventure.

But now there was an indoor mask mandate on campus, even if vaccinated. How could I perform with a mask on? That was patently impossible and so I wrote Professor Joe Walsh back with the suggestion that for the second year in a row, against our frustrated wishes, we could always Zoom from my studio in New Hampshire. I work with a brilliant digital engineer named Gavin Bodkin, who has helped his dad move online since the pandemic began. Yes, Gav was available to produce. Joe Walsh agreed. My Zoom studio on the third floor had sat unused during a summer of live shows.

The mad scramble began.

I tightened the twelve fresh strings on my Taylor from the floppy looseness I’d planned on for safe flying. I strung it up to the open tuning I use for The Odyssey. Gavin produced the Zoom invitation to be sent to the students from faculty. Five nice people from Loyola suddenly became involved and we exchanged a blizzard of emails. I provided an Odyssey logo.

And then I heard Martha was back from sabbatical and that she’d be the one to introduce me. Professor Martha Taylor is, I guess, now that she’s back, the Chair of Classics once again. It was she who, fifteen years ago, established the annual tradition of inviting me to perform to kick off each fall semester. It might be over Zoom, but it would be great to see her again after her two sabbatical years.

I started rehearsing the Odyssey musical score and on a drive to my son Jon’s house to return a pair of sandals I’d inadvertently swiped at a party there, I ran the movie of the story in my mind. Troy. The beach at Ismaros. The Lotus Eaters. The Cyclops. After a half hour out, and a half hour back, the story was rehearsed and ready.

Bless his heart, Gavin arrived at 4:30 for the 7 pm show, rested for an hour, and then we climbed the two flights of stairs to the studio. A jet black backdrop, a wooden chair, a quiet little fan, tried and true lighting, and the camera mounted in place two feet away from me. Last spring I conducted performances and full day residencies for elementary kids from that chair. I doubted I’d ever be back. The pandemic was over, right? Wrong, as we all now know.

By 6:35 Gavin was in his headphones watching the computer, seeing who was in the waiting room. Joe showed up on my screen and we talked until Martha, too, appeared. We chatted, lamented our lost profs’ dinner, and got ready for the show. More and more students were signing on.

Telling my version of The Odyssey is like entering a dream. The music is constant, and lofts the words and sounds along. Once it begins inside the Trojan Horse, it doesn’t end until the Cyclops is blinded, and Odysseus escapes with what’s left of his crew. During such shows, I lose all sense of time and awareness of my body. All that I’m aware of is my fingers running the frets of the guitar, and how the music is blending with the imagery. The characters all know what to say. Sometimes they surprise me, and say things I’ve never heard before.

This version ended up seventy-five minutes. Then came the questions. Suddenly, faces appeared in group mode on Zoom. Here were all these young people who’d just watched the show with me on full screen, only I could see them now. Groups of five or six on a couch, with masks on. Some alone in their dorm rooms. Hands went up. The questions? How did I memorize all that? Is the music all planned out? We went on for another fifteen minutes. They were enthusiastic and very nice.

I’m old. They’re young. Still, it worked.

Of course, the story is imagined, not memorized, and the music, like jazz, is spontaneous, moment to moment.

Even Martha loved it. She sent me a post-show email inviting me back for year sixteen.

So it looks as if until this plague really does end, I’m Zooming again.

 

https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odds Bodkin’s Live and Zoom Shows Now Booking for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022

Odds Bodkin’s Live and Zoom Shows for Are Now Booking for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022!

Fully vaccinated and delighted to be back performing for live audiences, storyteller and musician Odds Bodkin is now booking live assembly performances for K-12 schools in New England and beyond. Plus a host of other incredible offerings for adult audiences. All shows are also available on Zoom.

Last year, Loyola University Maryland opted for their annual Iliad/Odyssey performance via Zoom, and 200 Classics and Honors students tuned in. That was Odds’ 13th annual September show for Loyola. But this year, he’ll be flying down in person with his 12-string guitar to regale his college audience once again. That’s 14 years in a row!

Special thanks to Gavin Bodkin, Odds’ son, for building a Zoom studio for his dad and engineering a host of appearances during the pandemic. Full day GOLDEN RULE residences for elementary schools in Merrimack, NH, complete with custom workshops, were completed to rave reviews (watch video). A Halloween show of Dark Tales of the Supernatural for Syracuse University. An Odyssey: Belly of the Beast performance for Old Greenwich School in Connecticut. An adult concert for a Long Island library. All took place on Zoom.

But now Odds is back live with his 12-string guitars, Celtic harp and other instruments. He’s ready to travel once again.

What is he offering?

 

GOLDEN RULE: World Stories About Empathy for K-2 and 3-6

FAIRY FOLKS AND OLD OAKS: Two Long Fairy Tales told with voices and 12-string guitars

DARK TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL adult scary concerts for Halloween

DANIKA THE ROSE: A Blend of Dvorak’s Moravian Duets with an original Odds Bodkin fairy tale performed with sopranos Jazimina MacNeil and Sarah Shafer, available for concerts nationwide (the next show is for The Groton School on Jan. 9, 2022!)

THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST, THE ILIAD: BOOK I, HEARTPOUNDERS: ADULT HALLOWEEN HORROR TALES, BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS and FALL OF THE TITANS for universities and high schools

STORYBLAST! Family concerts for libraries, churches and museums are also available.

Be sure to check out the storyteller’s amazing family recordings at Odds’ Shop!

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN THE ANIMALS SPOKE: A Summer Reading Zoom Show for Libraries

Since last June, Odds Bodkin has been offering full-screen storytelling concerts on Zoom.

Loyola University watched The Iliad: Book I and students stood to applaud, even though they were all at home.

Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA, unable to host his winter series live on stage this past winter, forged ahead with a Zoom series; adult ticket holders loved it and came back again and again.

Elementary schools that postponed their residencies during the pandemic spring re-booked, and all those school kids are now singing along from behind their masks.

Yes, vaccinations are on their way, but summer 2021 might still be a little early for live shows in enclosed spaces, and so Odds is offering a new Zoom show to library communities. Echoing the Collaborative Summer LIbrary Program’s summer reading theme for 2021, Bodkin has created WHEN THE ANIMALS SPOKE, a collection of four of his best animal stories for kids and families.

 

WHAT STORIES ARE IN THE SHOW?

 

The Name of the Tree

Of all the thirsty, starving animals on the African savanna, only the little tortoise with the big heart remembers the name of the magical tree. When he speaks it, down tumble giant fruits, filled with water and filled with food. Odds has always been interested in myths about the universal Tree of Life, and this tale is a kid-sized version of that myth, filled with sounds and yes, talking animals.

Told with African thumb piano.

The Fox and the Cat

Aesop never failed to tell the pithiest of truths, and this fast little tale told with Celtic harp is no exception. A fox is bragging to his friend the cat about how many ways the fox knows to escape the dogs of the hunters, but when the dogs appear, it turns out the fox has never really tried any of them at all. That spells trouble.

How the Animals Stole Back Fire

Myths about the origin of fire are universal. Prometheus the Titan, as the Greeks tell it, brought fire down from Olympus and gave it to humankind. Australian Aborigines were given fire, but were no longer one with the animals afterwards. In this show’s How the Animals Stole Back Fire, a Native American myth of the Maidu of the Northwest Coast, Odds tells the tale of how Thunder and his Three Evil Daughters steal the animals’ fire. Soon deer, bear, fox, mouse, lizard, wolverine, all the animals, begin to die off from winter’s cold. The tale Odds tells is how they discover where their fire is, and in desperation, how they steal it back.

Told with alto recorder.

Tale of the Kittens

What can go wrong in a fairy tale about singing kittens and a talking mother cat? In a secret world beneath a giant cauliflower no less? It turns out plenty can go wrong if you don’t treat the kittens right. Kids love this quirky and funny Italian fairy tale told with 12-string guitar and a catchy song.

During Odds Bodkin’s Zoom shows, the storyteller is up close. Everyone has a front row seat. So if you know a librarian, please pass along this post!  Thanks!

For more information, visit https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight at 5 pm…Live on ZOOM…Odds Bodkin’s Fairy Tales for Smart Girls!

“a consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

Join Odds Bodkin tonight for four amazing and fun fairy tales about smart girls. Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and Bodkin has created this special show–including a new story from Italy–for the event. You can sing along with two of the tales, so get your voice ready.

The show comes to you via ZOOM at 5 pm EST. Grab your ticket and log in for a full-screen storytelling performance with characters, sound effects and live music on 12-string guitars and Celtic harp.

And if you have a question for Odds after the show, he’ll stay online to chat.

 

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST on ZOOM

Tickets: $25 per screen

 

Where Did the Fairies Hide Their Souls? Find Out Sunday Night…

Wherever the evil fairies souls are, they aren’t in their bodies, and since no one in the village knows where they are hidden, no one can do away with them. Instead, the fairies are free to lean out the windows of their giant stone house and yell at people.

Worst of all, children disappear in the village and no one knows where they are, either.

Unknown to her, Prezzemolina has been promised to the fairies since before she was born. Now that she has come of age, they want her.

Her only protection is that she is pure of heart.

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Join Odds Bodkin as he tells this rare and wondrous Italian fairy tale, self-accompanied on 12-string guitar.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.

 

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Live on ZOOM on Sunday, March 7 at 5 pm EST.

Grab your ticket and sit back with your family to enjoy Prezzemolina and three other fairy tales for and about smart girls. All Odds’ stories are told with character voices and live acoustic music.

 

Tickets: $25 per screen

Humor from SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS on Zoom March 7

In a world where all women are expected to spin to make clothes, Kelsa finds it so boring she outright refuses to learn to do it. This exasperates her mother to no end, and they argue about it every morning by their open door.

And so when the Queen shows up looking for an industrious young woman to wed the Prince, and half-overhears the two women arguing about spinning, she pokes her nose into the kitchen and asks what the woman’s lovely daughter has done. Shocked, Kelsa’s mother lies, and tells the Queen it’s just that her daughter won’t quit spinning, she loves it so.

The royal carriage rolls quickly to the castle and the Queen leads Kelsa into a dungeon where, from floor to ceiling, bales of unspun flax surround a lonely spinning wheel. “Here we are! Paradise! Now, if in three days you can spin all this into linen thread, then you may marry my son!” says the Queen cheerfully. “But, if you fail, well, we’ll just have to chop off your head.” She smiles sweetly. “Bye bye!”

How Kelsa survives all this and ends up the Princess without spinning a single inch of thread is the substance of this hilarious Grimm’s fairy tale.

See and hear Odds Bodkin tell it live on Zoom this coming Sunday, March 7 at 5 pm EST. Join the crowd that’s gathering. Got a question for the artist? There’s a live Q&A afterwards!

Music on two 12-string guitars and Celtic harp.

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls

Odds Bodkin live on Zoom

Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST

Tickets: $25

Tale of the Kittens from SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls with Odds Bodkin

It’s not easy living with a lazy sister and an imperious mother.

Since Marie is the only daughter willing to do the work, and her sister won’t lift a finger, it’s Marie who ends up doing everything. Hanging out the laundry. Sweeping off the front porch. Weeding the garden. Washing the dishes.

But because Marie does these things, and because she’s courageous and curious, it’s she who discovers the world of kittens beneath the giant cauliflower on the hill.

It’s she who hears the catchy song.

And it’s she who is given the beautiful gifts.


Come listen, watch and enjoy The Tale of the Kittens, one of four fairy tales for smart girls that Odds Bodkin will perform this coming Sunday, March 7th at 5 pm EST on Zoom. These stories are appropriate for all ages. Music on 12-string guitars and Celtic harp. Plus lots of silly voices.

Tickets: $25 per screen

 

 

FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS Live Odds Bodkin Storytelling on Zoom Sunday March 7

Join Odds Bodkin on Zoom to enjoy four rollicking fairy tales for smart girls told with characters, narration and music.

The Wise Little Girl, Prezzemolina, The Tale of the Kittens and The Three Spinning Fairies. These are Bodkin’s best stories for smart girls.

Coming up next week on ZOOM. Get your tickets today!

Tickets: $25

Tonight 5:00-6:30 pm, Odds Bodkin is on Full-Screen Zoom to Tell BEOWULF

Scored throughout with haunting and beautiful music on 12-string guitar, here is Odds Bodkin’s renowned storyteller’s version of Beowulf, a thousand year old Viking tale of darkness and light.

The monsters lurk in the fens, staring down the cliffs at the humans, tiny creatures who sing in their feasting hall to push back the night. The first monster, Grendel, who towers to the height of many men, hates the singing. With his enchanted fur to protect him and his wolf fangs to tear apart flesh, he attacks and takes back thirty slain men to eat in his cave.

The Danes are terrorized. Every night, Grendel comes. They try iron, bronze, silver, even gold sword blades and spear points, but nothing can penetrate Grendel’s hide.

For twelve years, the monster feasts, until in a far off land, a great warrior–one who has a reason to be grateful to the Danes–decides to go on a mission of mercy to kill the beast.


First discovered in 1563 in a dusty library when it was already five hundred years old, Beowulf is the oldest known work in the English language, a classic in every sense. Odds Bodkin brings it to life tonight on full-screen Zoom.

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

Sunday Feb. 28 at 5:00 pm EST on Zoom

Not recommended for children

Tickets: $25

 

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA

Huddle Around the Zoom Fire Sunday Night for Beowulf

With 12-string guitar and Celtic harp, character voices and sound effects, master storyteller Odds Bodkin will perform his classic tale, BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, for adults this Sunday night at 5 pm EST. The tale contains mayhem and violence and is not recommended for children.

Shorn of its heraldic side stories, Bodkin’s version of Beowulf cleaves closely to the original thousand-year-old story of a thane who rescues an aged king from monsters that attack his hall. Filled with striking scenes and plenty of humor, the story translates vividly over Zoom.

 

Tickets are $25

 

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE

ODDS BODKIN

MARCH 28, 2021 AT 5 PM EST ON ZOOM

 

This performance is sponsored by Grendel’s Den.

 

If You Have a Daughter, Buy This Ticket

SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls is a live performance featuring master storyteller Odds Bodkin telling four great stories for daughters everywhere. Each tale is filled with live music and intriguing characters. No matter where you live, you can tune in via ZOOM on Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 5 pm EST.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.

“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times

“a modern-day Orpheus” — Billboard

Tickets: $25